We have all been in the meeting an hour longer than we had to or stuck around in a business relationship way longer than we should have. Sometimes it’s because the other person isn’t recognizing that your time is valuable or sometimes it’s because you’ve invested so much time already that it’s hard to let go. We’ve all been on both sides of the desk and an important lesson to learn is when to say no.
This is an important lesson for business. As an entrepreneur you have to know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em. While we’ve been raised (hopefully) to be polite and considerate people, we need to remember that we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to being nice. Such as times when hours later, we’re still listening to that sales pitch that we said no to in our heads 15 minutes after it started.
If this isn’t resonating with you, you are so lucky! But if you’ve been on the unfortunate end of giving more than you’re receiving, here are some tips to helping your ability to say no, maintain good business relations and make the most of your valuable time:
Be In Tune with Yourself
We all have been in the situation where when we look back and we say, I knew I should not have done that, I saw all the signs. Why do we do it anyway? We get caught up in the past and future and forget about right now! Get out of your head and get more in tune about what is going on in the moment. This will help you connect with your gut feeling. Can this gut feeling go a long way to helping your business? You bet your bottom dollar it can. Before technology told us what was going on, gut instinct was all we had to protect ourselves. Find it, use it and trust it!
Be Alright With Losing the Fight
Sometimes we push too hard. We put all of our focus and energy into something that is not working but because of inner passion or ego, we want it to work. When we are deeply involved in things, it can be hard to see the bigger picture. Know that stepping back can sometimes give you the clarity you need. You can always go back at a later date and finish what you started and now with a clearer mind. So create the space and have the confidence to step back and lose the fight for now! Know that you are not a failure but are in fact being smart!
Open Up To Feedback
Asking for feedback will allow you to see something a different way. It might give you an idea or give you the clarity that you have made the wrong choice on something and you can get out before it is too late. Really allow your ego to be checked at the door and don’t take the feedback as a jab to your character or place in the world. The richest learning is in the mistakes we make in our life and business. Asking for feedback can allow you to grow in ways you might not have otherwise.
Be True To Yourself
We’d all like to say no to laundry or dishes and sometimes we can. But in business we might feel like we have to say yes all the time to keep clients, build your business or keep your name active in your industry. The challenge with this is when you go against how you are built, how you know you can operate and what you are capable of handling, you are not being true to yourself. Most likely you won’t do well on the project and you’ll end up doing more damage to the very things you were trying to protect. So be the architect of your time and build a solid structure upon which to grow your business!
Clients walking all over you can cause a ton of stress. I used to be afraid to look at my phone in fear that there would be a disgruntled message from a client. Another person taking their daily frustrations out on me or the person that will send you 20 emails when one email would have been fine. But you have control over how much time you give clients like these versus the higher quality ones that respect you, your time and your talent. Which ones do you want referring their friends and colleagues to you?? Managing your ability to say no effectively will help with that choice.
Can you say NO? YES! You are an adult. And even though it feels like it sometimes, you will not get grounded or sent to your room. Build your confidence, connect with your gut and find the truth inside you.